New active Doubler Modules Produce High Power from 4 to 30 GHz

New active Doubler Modules Produce High Power from 4 to 30 GHz

Courtesy of Marki Microwave : New active Doubler Modules Produce High Power from 4 to 30 GHz

Marki Microwave’s two new unique frequency doublers provide wide output bandwidths, high output power and high harmonic suppressions. The ADA-0416 output spans 4 to 16 GHz and the ADA-1030 covers 10 to 30 GHz. Both are active devices accepting inputs of 0 to +6dBm and providing doubled outputs at +13 to +16dBm, ideal for driving our L and H-diode mixers. As an added bonus these units also serve as multi-component evaluation modules for the surface-mount amplifiers, bias tees, and multiplier contained within.

Product Page Datasheet Input


Output [GHz] Input Level [dBm] Output Level


Typical Suppression [avg] Bias


ADA-0416  pdf 2 to 8 4 to 16 +0 to +6 +16 28 +7V/-0.15@


ADA-1030 pdf 5 to 15 10 to 30 +0 to +6 +16 30  +7V/-0.15@


Round-up of RF Quick Connect/Quick Disconnect Connectors

Round-up of RF Quick Connect/Quick Disconnect Connectors

Courtesy of Pasternack : Round-up of RF Quick Connect/Quick Disconnect Connectors

From Threaded to Quick

The technology for RF threaded connectors began in the early days of UHF communications and, since that time, other RF connectors have been developed to meet the needs of advancing technologies in the communications industry. In the early 1990’s, RF manufactures needed RF cable assemblies with interconnects that could manage the higher power and higher voltage of emerging technologies. The trend in the RF Microwave industry has evolved over the years from threaded coupling connectors to quick disconnect style coupling with push-on, blindmate, and quick disconnect interfaces.

Advantages of Quick Connect/Quick Disconnect Connectors

Advantages of using quick connect connectors are the speed of installation, flexibility of connection, and efficient use of space. This means less downtime during installation and maintenance, no special tooling when making RF connections,

And ease of mating of RF connections in challenging installation systems. Consider that many RF connections are in difficult to reach areas and mating and unmating these connections is often performed with limited line of sight or by feel. Using a torque wrench in these difficult to reach areas can be problematic. Quick connect/quick disconnect connectors eliminates many of the logistical difficulties by providing a mechanism for an easy and safe connection without the use of threads or assembly tools. Other installation advantages of quick connect/quick disconnect connectors include:

<  replaces traditional threaded connection of SMA and N with a snap-fastening to allow for faster mating and demating

eliminates the need for a torque wrench

decreases the overall size of the connector while maintaining the performance and reliability

allows for 360° cable rotation after installation.

Types of Quick Connect/Quick Disconnect Connectors

QMA and QN connectors are quick connect RF connectors that were designed to replace the common SMA and Type N connectors. RF connectors are built in male, female, plug, jack, receptacle or sexless gender with 50 Ohm or 75 Ohm Impedance and in standard polarity, reverse polarity or reverse thread designs supporting an operating frequency range of from DC to 40 GHz. Designs for RF quick connect/disconnect connectors are available with QMA, QN, 4.3-10, SMP, SMP-M and BMA connectors with rapid snap-on or push-on mating. Many of these modern connectors provide a VSWR as low as 1.1:1 with an Input power up to 2W maximum.

Adero uses Nordic’s nRF52 Series SoCs

Adero uses Nordic’s nRF52 Series SoCs running Zephyr RTOS in its first intelligent organization product suite

Courtesy of Nordic Semiconductor : Adero uses Nordic’s nRF52 Series SoCs running Zephyr RTOS

Nordic and Adero collaborate on the Zephyr RTOS project and make available the world’s first open source, fully-qualified and production-ready Bluetooth Low Energy stack deployed in the ‘Adero Intelligent Organization’ product suite based on the nRF52840 and nRF52810 SoCs

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that its nRF52840 and nRF52810 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoCs) running Zephyr RTOS have been selected by Santa Barbara, CA-based Adero™ for its suite of intelligent organization products.

Nordic has been a member of the Zephyr™ project since 2016 and is present on both the Governing Board and Technical Steering Committee. Nordic developers have made extensive contributions to Zephyr since 2016, including the Bluetooth LE Link Layer and MCU Manager device management protocol for device firmware update (DFU), used by Adero in its ‘Intelligent Organization Starter and Deluxe Kits’, recently launched in the U.S. Due to the long term partnership and Nordic’s position in the Zephyr project, Nordic was well placed to work with Adero when they selected the Zephyr RTOS.

“We chose Zephyr as the RTOS for our product as this was the best future oriented platform and OS for our embedded product,” says Adrian Yanes, Vice President or Product Development at Adero. “We knew the nRF52 Series was strong on low power and overall performance, and selecting this came naturally as it really complemented Zephyr with its modest footprint, low overhead and overall performance.

“The already existing features in Zephyr, and Nordic’s ability to support us on some central elements like the open source Bluetooth stack, allowed us to focus most of our efforts on our application which was really critical to use during our product development.”

“Nordic routinely supports nRF52 Series SoC products to accelerate customer product development,” says Joel Stapleton, Technical Product Manager, Nordic Semiconductor. “Supporting the Zephyr RTOS and collaborating around an open source platform proved to be an effective way to focus our efforts where they made the biggest difference for the customer and allowed us to work openly and faster as a result.

“We saw that the unique expertise that exists in different organizations can come together to continually build a better solution for all users. For Nordic, the independence of the Zephyr project is a key advantage over alternative solutions for customers as it attracts the greatest diversity of supported platforms and developers. The Zephyr RTOS vision aligns closely with the product makers using Nordic devices, and Nordic is heavily involved in the project to help achieve that vision.

For Nordic, the independence of the Zephyr project is a key advantage over alternative solutions

Joel Stapleton, Nordic Semiconductor
“The configurability and performance of the Zephyr RTOS make it a best-in-class low power solution for memory constrained wireless SoCs. I would expect more product makers to leverage Zephyr for a scalable solution across their product range in the future.”

During the Adero project, Nordic integrated Mobile Device Management libraries into the intelligent organization application for iOS and Android, made improvements to low power timer integration with the RTOS, and qualified the Zephyr BLE Host while the Adero team were able to focus on product development. The Zephyr project and community benefited from Adero contributions including bug fixes and optimizations made in the course of their work.

According to Nordic, such collaborations are constantly increasing the contributor base for core platform components like the Zephyr RTOS kernel and native wireless protocol stacks. Each new user and development project are extending the features and functionality available, improving stability, and eliminating bugs.

“Time to market was a really important aspect for us when developing our product,” continues Adero’s Yanes. “Zephyr provides a rich set of RTOS APIs and a lot of native features that helped with that. By adopting an open source platform, we can also leverage features and improvements from other contributors, not just Nordic Semiconductor.

“This collaborative effort goes hand in hand with how we think embedded software should be written in 2018, and that is why we happily contribute improvements back to have a stronger platform now, and for future product development.”

As a result of the Nordic and Adero collaboration, the Zephyr project now includes the world’s first open-source, fully-qualified, and production-ready Bluetooth LE stack. Nordic’s qualification of the Bluetooth LE stack in Zephyr enables end-product makers such as Adero to launch Bluetooth products using the native Bluetooth LE support in the Zephyr RTOS. While Zephyr is not the only RTOS to include an open source Bluetooth LE Host or Link Layer, the Zephyr Bluetooth LE stack is the only one with all required components qualified and available as open source. A complete, qualified Bluetooth LE stack (consisting of a Host, Link Layer, and Physical layer) is needed to list an end product using Bluetooth technology. (Refer to the Zephyr Host QDID: 119517 and Link Layer QDID: 101395.)

“The Zephyr RTOS is a unique cross-architecture operating system and is a great fit for resource constrained, low power wireless system-on-chip use cases.,” says Kate Stewart, Senior Director of Strategic Programs for the Linux Foundation. “The Zephyr Project is neutral ground for product makers to collaborate on new features, as well as sharing best practices for safety and security.  The diverse membership includes leading silicon vendors, research institutions, product makers, and value-added service providers.   We are excited to see project members like Nordic Semiconductor collaborating with Adero and their contribution of valuable improvements and features back to the growing Zephyr community.”

Nordic’s nRF52 Series multiprotocol SoCs combine a powerful 64MHz Arm processor with a high performance, ultra-low power 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT™, Thread, ZigBee, and proprietary RF protocol software). The nRF52 series has up to 1024kB Flash memory and 256kB RAM, and when running the Zephyr RTOS, an end user can build advanced Bluetooth LE applications thanks to its Bluetooth 5-certifed protocol stack.

In the IoT, small things can make a big difference

In the IoT, small things can make a big difference

Courtesy of u-blox : In the IoT, small things can make a big difference

The Internet of Things (IoT) is more than the sum of its parts, even if those parts are expected to number in the tens of billions within this decade alone. The size, shape and scope of those things will vary massively, but as a concept the IoT is often presented as smart sensors enabling smarter infrastructure. And in some cases, that is exactly right.

In many respects the IoT is nothing new, we have been capturing and acting on data for years. What something like the IoT brings to this is momentum, for one thing, but it also brings a level of exposure. For those not close to electronics, the realization that it is relatively easy to capture data and act upon it may be enough to motivate them into developing something innovative. Others, perhaps those more familiar with electronic technology and its capabilities, may appreciate the full potential of the IoT; as an extension to the communications infrastructure that surrounds us, and one that is more easily exploited every day.

What this means in practice is that it is becoming simpler to marry problems with solutions, and this is one area where the IoT is truly disruptive. We can expect a huge number of new applications to emerge over the coming years, of that we can be sure, but the IoT really started life as a way of improving the way we already do some things. The main enabler cited is connectivity and, of course, that is true; we can’t have an IoT without the I. But what sometimes gets completely overlooked are the worker bees; the technologies that are quietly evolving in the background to bring new solutions to life. Things like sensors and actuators that provide more.

The economy of scale this brings is driving down overall costs, so that applications that may have always been technically possible are now also commercially viable. It is a virtuous circle, the same theory that underpins the entire semiconductor industry, and it will see the number of IoT endpoints reaching the high billions. Many of those things will necessarily need to have a low cost of ownership, which means they need to be cheap to buy, easy to install and deliver a value that is greater than their overall cost. Things, like the arcHUB.


The arcHUB was developed, in partnership with electronics and embedded software design company Successful Endeavours, by an Australian technology company called The Active Reactor Company, whose expertise originally lay in the control of High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps for street lighting, sports stadiums and other public spaces. However, it saw an opportunity for a low cost, low complexity device that could be used to monitor various aspects of the environment.

It is essentially a smart sensor, one that uses solar cells to generate its own power and a cellular network for its connectivity. Installation is a simple process, the case provides IP65 ingression protection and its clear plastic dome allows sunlight to reach its solar cells. The entire device can be unobtrusively secured to a street light pole, or any other suitable fixture such as the side of a building. Once installed, the arcHUB sets about gathering data and sending it to a cloud‑based service for subsequent analysis.

Out of the box, it can monitor light levels, and air quality sensor. As a system it can be connected to external sensors to measure wind strength and direction, temperature and humidity, carbon monoxide as well as other environmental aspects such as water levels. A low cost noise sensor is under development.  The arcHUB presents the data in both easy to see dashboard and downloadable format for further analysis.

The City of Melbourne is trialling the arcHUB to measure people movement, and is already using it in a multi‑sensor network to measure air quality, basketball and table‑tennis usage, phone charging activity and environmental (wind, temperature and lighting) levels in an urban precinct.  In addition 3 Australian environmental protection authorities are using arcHUBs to measure air quality.

The external sensors communicate with the arcHUB using Sub‑GHz ISM technology, but the hub itself employs a u‑blox SARA‑R4 series module, which offers LTE Cat‑M1/ NB1 and EGPRS connectivity at up to 375 kbit/s. The module also supports over‑the‑air firmware (uFOTA) updates, so manufacturers can provide long‑term support without truck‑rolls.

The arcHUB was conceived to be a low cost, low complexity solution that would appeal to non‑technologist. As such, it is aimed at governments, schools and colleges, or even large manufacturers who want to monitor things like air pollution, or pedestrian and vehicle traffic. When combined with other indicators, the data it provides can be used to improve services. It can also be used as an early warning system in remote areas, measuring particulates in the air that could warn of an undetected fire.

The IoT will not be defined by a single application; it will be a study in diversity. What will be common, however, is the need for advanced sensors, connectivity and a supporting infrastructure that makes it simpler for small devices to contribute to the Big Data era. Products such as arcHUB will be numerous, enabled by technologies like the SARA‑R4 series. It is this ecosystem of solutions that will really define the IoT.

Contact: Dr Brian Oldland, Director Active Reactor Company, +61 418 564 040,

nRF91 Series cellular IoT module

Nordic Semiconductor rolls out its unique nRF91 Series cellular IoT module to all customers and makes cellular IoT accessible to any application

Courtesy of Nordic Semiconductor rolls out its unique nRF91 Series cellular IoT module

The nRF9160 – which will be available within the next 24 hours from major global distributors such as Digi-Key Electronics, Mouser Electronics, and Premier Farnell (amongst others) – is significantly smaller, lower power, and has more security features than any other cellular IoT module launched to date for both LTE-M and NB-IoT applications. It also has a host of unique IoT-targeted features, is certified for global operation, and is dramatically easier to design-in

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that the first nRF9160 System-in-Package (SiP) member of its nRF91® Series of cellular IoT modules will be available to all customers via its global distribution network within the next 24 hours. This includes Digi-Key Electronics, Mouser Electronics, and Premier Farnell (amongst others).

The nRF9160 has also received GCF certification—the trusted mobile communications industry ‘quality mark’ for compliance to the 3GPP LTE specification and global cellular network interoperability—along with separately required FCC and CE regulatory certifications. This means the nRF9160 SiP is approved for deployment in cellular networks and cellular IoT product applications around the world.

The general availability of the nRF9160 SiP will make cellular IoT wireless technology accessible to any application due to the unique ease with which the module can be designed-in. Prime examples include asset monitoring and tracking, utility metering, industrial (machinery) connectivity and predictive maintenance, smart city and infrastructure, agrotech (smart agriculture), and medical.

At just 10 x 16 x 1mm in size, the nRF9160 SiP is suitable for even compact wearable consumer and medical devices, yet is a complete solution that integrates everything a cellular connection and IoT application may need beyond requiring just an external battery, SIM, and antenna.

To achieve this ultra-high integration Nordic partnered with Qorvo to make a System-in-Package that more closely resembles an integrated chip than a module. The nRF9160 SiP leverages Qorvo’s state-of-the-art, proven RF front-end, advanced packaging, and MicroShield™ technology to deliver a unique, ultra-compact solution that combines high performance with low power consumption. The nRF9160 SiP supports global operation with a single SiP variant thanks to the combination of Nordic’s multimode LTE-M / NB-IoT modem, SAW-less transceiver, and a custom RF front-end solution from Qorvo.

In parallel, the nRF9160 SiP is the first cellular IoT module to incorporate Arm’s latest Arm Cortex M-33 CPU core. This is supported by 1MB of Flash and 256kB of RAM on-board memory. The nRF9160 SiP is also the first module to incorporate Arm’s state-of-the-art Arm TrustZone and Arm CryptoCell security for Internet-level encryption and application protection. Both these technologies are designed for highly energy-efficient embedded IoT products that require the highest levels of performance in processing, power consumption, and security.

The nRF9160 SiP has 1MB of Flash plus 256 kB of RAM on-board memory with a broad range peripheral set, analog and digital interfaces, 32 GPIOs, a stand-alone modem with full LTE capability, plus a multiband RF front-end.

Another unique feature of the nRF9160 SiP in the cellular IoT module market is integrated GPS support to allow a combination of GPS and cellular data to be used for more accurate positioning than either technology is capable of when used in isolation.

Nordic Semiconductor expanded the application-range of Bluetooth by abstracting away from the designer all unnecessary technical complexity. The pre-certified, ready-to-drop-in, LTE-M/NB-IoT nRF9160 SiP module promises to do the same for cellular IoT by taking a completely different approach to competing solutions

Peder Rand, Nordic Semiconductor’s Product Manager – Cellular IoT

“Nordic Semiconductor expanded the application-range of Bluetooth by abstracting away from the designer all unnecessary technical complexity,” comments Peder Rand, Nordic Semiconductor’s Product Manager – Cellular IoT. “The pre-certified, ready-to-drop-in, LTE-M/NB-IoT nRF9160 SiP module promises to do the same for cellular IoT by taking a completely different approach to competing solutions. And it’s now available to everyone.”

“Among its many unique IoT-targeted features, one of the most key is security which is of paramount importance to any IoT application,” adds John Leonard, Tactical Marketing Manager at Nordic Semiconductor. “Arm TrustZone means the nRF9160 SiP can have areas specified as trusted execution zones and non-trusted zones. This means critical aspects such as cryptographic elements and key storage, for example, will reside in trusted areas where the outside world cannot get direct access. Allied with the nRF9160 SiP’s Arm CryptoCell security, this module is without question the cellular IoT device with the most advanced security on the market today.”

“We are pleased with our strategic partnership with Nordic Semiconductor to bring this new category of cellular IoT solution to the market,” said Eric Creviston, President Mobile Products at Qorvo. “Qorvo is excited to see our leading RF and advanced packaging technology playing a key and enabling part of new products targeting the emerging low power cellular IoT market.”

The nRF9160 SiP is supported by—and all available now—a development kit, SiP module samples, LTE-M firmware, and an SDK with application example for cloud connectivity. This includes Nordic’s ‘nRF Connect for Cloud’ cloud-based device management tool and ‘nRF Connect for Desktop’ PC-based tool, plus support for Segger Embedded Studio. These are all designed to help give customers a flying start with sensor-to-cloud IoT applications.

NB-IoT and GPS functionality is in limited sampling and will be made available for evaluation through firmware updates during Q1 2019.

For full technical details on the nRF9160 SiP module please visit the Nordic website product page (see below).

How the world’s largest Bluetooth chip supplier came to be in cellular IoT

Nordic Semiconductor is best known for its leadership (both commercial and technological) in the global Bluetooth® chip market. The wide availability of the nRF9160 SiP module marks Nordic’s official – but brand new – entrance into the low power, cellular IoT wireless technology market.

Cellular is a notoriously complex wireless technology that only a handful of engineering teams worldwide truly have the expertise and experience to design at the architectural level. Nordic Semiconductor’s team all originated from outside the company when Nordic hired some of the smartest cellular R&D engineers in the world from a bout of rationalization layoffs in Finland between 2011 and 2014 from companies such as Nokia, Microsoft, Broadcom, and ST-Ericsson.

This means Nordic’s heritage in cellular wireless technology is on-par with any other company in the world: most of Nordic’s cellular IoT design team have been working in cellular design for most of their careers. And most importantly of all, all technical support for the nRF9160 SiP module will come from engineers that designed the product from the ground up.

About Qorvo
Qorvo (NASDAQ:QRVO) makes a better world possible by providing innovative Radio Frequency (RF) solutions at the center of connectivity. We combine product and technology leadership, systems-level expertise and global manufacturing scale to quickly solve our customers’ most complex technical challenges. Qorvo serves diverse high-growth segments of large global markets, including advanced wireless devices, wired and wireless networks and defense radar and communications. We also leverage unique competitive strengths to advance 5G networks, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, and other emerging applications that expand the global framework interconnecting people, places and things. Visit to learn how Qorvo connects the world.

Qorvo is a registered trademark of Qorvo, Inc. in the U.S. and in other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

EM Research ZFR Series – Small Frequency Synthesizer

Courtesy of EM Research : ZFR Series – Small Frequency Synthesizer

Small Step Programmable Frequency Synthesizer

  • Wide Bandwidth
  • Small Step Size
  • Fast-Switching
  • Low Phase Noise

Welcome to EM Research’s spotlight product, our exceptional ZFR programmable frequency synthesizer series. ZFR frequency synthesizers can be configured for fast-switching capable of 120µs switch speeds over 4 octaves of bandwidth. They can also be configured for a highly stable output power, ±0.2 dBm over temperature, frequencies up to 40 GHz, and step size down to 10 KHz. All with industry leading phase noise.

These high-performing synthesizers can be custom tailored to the frequency range and control interface required, so they excel in a wide range of applications from laboratory use to airborne electronics. Offered in a compact package, the ZFR is one of our most versatile products.

Product Overview:

The ZFR series is a line of cutting edge programmable frequency synthesizers, featuring multi-octave band widths, low phase noise, step sizes as low as 10 KHz, switch speeds as low as 125 µs, frequencies to 40 GHz and the option of a highly stable output power.

The ZFR is highly customizable. In addition to broadband, fast switching versions, it can also be configured for highly stable power output, ±0.2 ppm over temperature, at frequencies up to 40 GHz. Optional USB programming can be included in addition to high speed serial communication controls. ZFR units are available with a standalone internal reference, and can also be configured to switch seamlessly between an external reference and the internal reference.

The ZFR series can deliver 1.25 to 20 GHz in a remarkably small connectorized package, typically 2.5” x 4.5” x 0.6”. With high performance across the board and a uniquely versatile design, the ZFR series exemplifies EM Research capabilities.

Product Examples

An exemplary ZFR series synthesizer is the ZFR-20000-09, which features a frequency bandwidth of 4.0 GHz to 20 GHz. The step size is 10 MHz (available to 10 KHz), it accepts a 10 MHz external reference, and exhibits a switch speed of less than 150 µs. It comes in a compact 2.5” x 4.5” x 0.6” sized package, operates from a 5.0V supply, and is controlled by a high speed serial communication interface.

The ZFR-12750-06 is a Ku band synthesizer and offers both a highly stable output power and a USB interface, as well as wide bandwidth, and small step size. Also notable is the ZFR-30500-03, which outputs in Ka band from 28 to 30.5 GHz with an incredibly stable power output of ±0.2 dBm over temperature.

u-blox and MBC develop the world’s first fully integrated L1/L2 RTK solution

u-blox and MBC develop the world’s first fully integrated L1/L2 RTK solution for centimeter-level positioning applications

Courtesy of u-blox and MBC develop the world’s first fully integrated L1/L2 RTK solution for centimeter-level positioning applications

MBC’s MRP‑2000 positioning solution integrates the u‑blox ZED‑F9P high precision GNSS module.

Thalwil, Switzerland – December 11, 2018 – u‑blox (SIX:UBXN), a global provider of leading positioning and wireless communication technologies, has announced the results of its collaboration with Korean broadcast media company MBC. With assistance from u‑blox, MBC has launched an ultra‑compact L1/L2 real time kinematic (RTK) multi‑band device, the MBC MRP‑2000, featuring a u‑blox ZED‑F9P high precision GNSS module. The solution is the first to offer the Korean market a GNSS RTK receiver and wireless access to a GNSS correction service in a single box.

To achieve centimeter‑level position accuracy, high precision GNSS receivers combine multi‑band satellite signal reception and GNSS correction data. In addition to mitigating positioning errors incurred as the satellite signals cross the ionosphere, multi‑band reception significantly speeds up the time it takes the receiver to determine its location. The ZED‑F9P process GNSS correction data, received via a wireless data connection, using integrated RTK algorithms. For uninterrupted centimeter‑level accuracy, it requires constant data access over the air.

Weighing just 50 g, the compact and extremely low power MRP‑2000 provides centimeter‑level positioning accuracy for a wide range of portable and mobile applications such as autonomous vehicles, drones, and survey equipment. It comes with a subscription to MBC’s RTK correction service, delivered nationwide using digital media broadcasting (DMB) networks, with LTE fallback.

The u‑blox ZED‑F9P GNSS receiver featured in the MRP‑2000 keeps the cost, size, and power consumption of the solution low. With advanced multi‑band RTK algorithms integrated on the chip, MBC was able to enable centimeter‑level positioning with no additional hardware or third party RTK libraries, cutting the time it took to bring the solution to market.

“By integrating our ZED‑F9P, a mass market RTK receiver, with Korea’s low cost DMB connectivity channel to offer automotive and industrial applications access to a nationwide correction service, MBC was able to dramatically reduce the cost of ownership of centimeter‑level positioning technology,” says KS Son, Country Manager, u‑blox Korea.

“Collaborating with u‑blox helped us develop the MRP‑2000, the first fully integrated positioning solution that can use RTK data from the DMB network as the primary source of location correction information, only switching to the LTE network in areas of poor DMB reception,” says Seung‑Ho Lee, Director of Spatial Information Business, MBC. “This gives the user an extremely high connectivity coverage delivering centimeter- level performance across the entire South Korea peninsula,” he adds.

About u‑blox

u‑blox (SIX:UBXN) is a global provider of leading positioning and wireless communication technologies for the automotive, industrial, and consumer markets. Their solutions let people, vehicles, and machines determine their precise position and communicate wirelessly over cellular and short range networks. With a broad portfolio of chips, modules, and a growing ecosystem of product supporting data services, u‑blox is uniquely positioned to empower its customers to develop innovative solutions for the Internet of Things, quickly and cost‑effectively. With headquarters in Thalwil, Switzerland, the company is globally present with offices in Europe, Asia, and the USA.

Find us on FacebookGoogle+LinkedIn, Twitter @ublox and YouTube

u‑blox contact:
KS Son
Country Manager, u‑blox Korea
Phone +82 2 542 0861  

About MBC

MBC is a public broadcaster whose largest shareholder is public organization Foundation for Broadcast Culture while it operates on advertising. MBC is the No. 1 broadcast network in Korea in terms of reliability, popularity and influence.

Established in 1961, MBC has been contributing to the development of the media industry, covering 98% of percent of the nation with a network of 16 regional stations and 8 subsidiaries. Today, it’s a multimedia group with 1 terrestrial TV channel, 3 radio channels, 5 cable channels, 5 satellite channels and 4 DMB channels. MBC provides useful information and entertains the viewers through its channels, while focusing on the core value of delivering customer satisfaction based on fairness, reliability, creativity and professionalism with the goal of becoming one of the most competitive media groups in the 21st century.​

MBC contact:
Seung‑Ho Lee
Director of Spatial Information Business, MBC
Phone +82 2 789 1646

Antenna Polarization Options

Antenna Polarization Options via Pasternack

Courtesy of Pasternack : Antenna Polarization Options

Antenna polarization may be one of the least understood properties of a wireless signal. If you are installing many antennas in one location, like on a tower, polarization is an important piece of the puzzle that you’ll need to take into consideration. Here we give you a quick overview on antenna polarization.

Polarization is determined by the way an antenna is mounted, usually horizontally or vertically. To ensure optimal network performance only like-polarized antennas should be used in point-to-point wireless applications. It is possible to establish a wireless link using antennas with different polarities but network performance and connectivity will suffe.

The big advantage of using different antenna polarization schemes is to reduce interference. For example when mounting several antennas on a tower, it is best to stagger vertically and horizontally polarized antennas to reduce interference.

If horizontal or vertical polarization won’t work for your wireless application there are dual-polarized, cross-polarized and circular-polarized antenna options to explore.

Dual-polarized antennas feature two antenna elements in a single physical package (radome), one that is vertically polarized and one that is horizontally polarized. When properly installed, dual polarized antennas can communicate with both vertically and horizontally polarized antennas. An advantage of dual polarity antenna is that you get basically two antennas in one package, this saves space and money. These types of antennas are often used with MIMO (multiple-in/multiple-out) wireless access points and CPE devices.

Cross-polarized antennas sometimes referred to as X-Pol antennas, feature two elements in one package. One element is +45° polarized and the other is -45° polarized. The two opposing 45° angle of the elements produces a cross or X orientation. Using a cross polarized antenna with vertically and horizontally polarized antennas further reduces interference.

Circular-polarized antennas have equal response to either horizontal or vertical polarized antennas. These antennas are designed to either support right hand or left hand polarization to suit varied wireless connectivity applications. Using a circular-polarized antenna on a fixed access point can be beneficial if the linear-polarized remote links are constantly moving.

Antenna Polarization Options

Bluetooth Low Energy wearable monitors

Bluetooth Low Energy wearable monitors heart rate, sleep, and activity data while supporting mesh network control of smart-home devices and secure payment functionality

Courtesy of Nordic Semiconductor : Bluetooth Low Energy wearable monitors heart rate, sleep, and activity data while supporting mesh network control

‘Lifesense Band 5’ employs Nordic’s nRF52840 SoC to act as the device’s central processor, managing sleep and motion sensor algorithm implementation, and enabling Bluetooth mesh networking

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Zhongshan, China-based smart healthcare device developer, Guangdong Transtek Medical Electronics Co., Ltd. (Lifesense), has specified Nordic’s nRF52840 Bluetooth 5/Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) advanced multiprotocol System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide the wireless connectivity and meet the intensive processing demands of its ‘Lifesense Band 5’.

Developed for the public health market, the Lifesense Band 5 wearable features a TFT LCD color display and integrates a Nordic SoC-supervised 3D accelerometer and heart rate sensor to track and record the user’s health and exercise data. It functions as a 24-hour dynamic heart rate monitor, sleep monitor, and activity tracker for steps taken, distance covered, calories burned, and activity duration. The nRF52840 SoC’s 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4F processor acts as the device’s CPU, managing the sensor’s sleep and motion algorithm implementation and data storage management, as well as acting as the display driver, and providing Bluetooth mesh functionality, enabling the wearable to connect to, and control, mesh networked smart-home devices. The Lifesense Band 5 also supports offline payment by Alipay, a China-based mobile payment platform developed by e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Using Bluetooth LE low latency wireless connectivity provided by the Nordic SoC, health, exercise, and sleep data is synced to the user’s Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphone or tablet, where the information can be reviewed via the Lifesense app. The app integrates sports training, weight management, and sleep monitoring, and is available in both iOS and Android versions.

The Lifesense Band 5 employs an 80mAh rechargeable lithium battery offering extended battery life, thanks in part, to the ultra low power operating characteristics of the Nordic nRF52840 SoC. The nRF52840 SoC has been engineered to minimize power consumption with a fully-automatic power management system that reduces power consumption by up to 80 percent compared with the nRF51 Series.

Battery life is a key factor for wristbands and bracelets, and along with the processor capability, memory capacity, Bluetooth mesh functionality, and support for multiprotocol implementation was the most important reason behind selecting the nRF52840 SoC

Shirley Xu, Lifesense

Nordic’s nRF52840 multiprotocol SoC is Nordic’s most advanced ultra low power wireless solution. The SoC supports complex Bluetooth 5/Bluetooth LE and other low-power wireless protocol applications that were previously not possible with a single-chip solution. The SoC combines the Arm processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio with 1MB Flash memory and 256kB RAM. A new radio architecture with on-chip PA provides features -96-dBm RX sensitivity, a maximum output power of 8dBm, and a total link budget of >110dBm. The chip supports all the features of Bluetooth 5 (including 4x the range or 2x the raw data bandwidth (2Mbps)) compared with Bluetooth 4.2.

The Nordic SoC’s S140 SoftDevice—a Bluetooth 5-certified software protocol stack for building long range and high data throughput Bluetooth LE applications—offers concurrent Central, Peripheral, Broadcaster, and Observer Bluetooth LE roles and supports up to 20 connections with variable bandwidth.

“Battery life is a key factor for wristbands and bracelets, and along with the processor capability, memory capacity, Bluetooth mesh functionality, and support for multiprotocol implementation was the most important reason behind selecting the nRF52840 SoC,” says Shirley Xu, Project Manager, Lifesense.

“We are a long term partner of Nordic, and its application engineers always provide a fast response and excellent support helping us to solve problems quickly.”

Currant WiFi Smart Outlet

‘Currant WiFi Smart Outlet’ with Bluetooth Low Energy and Wi-Fi employs artificial intelligence to monitor and manage power usage and reduce energy costs

Courtesy of Nordic Semiconductor : Currant WiFi Smart Outlet with Bluetooth Low Energy and Wi-Fi employs artificial intelligence

The new smart outlet employs Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC to act as the device’s central processor and provide wireless connectivity to the user’s smartphone or tablet

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Califronia-based smart home solutions company, Currant, has selected Nordic’s nRF52832 System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide the Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) wireless connectivity for its ‘WiFi Smart Outlet’, a Bluetooth LE- and Wi-Fi-connected device employing artificial intelligence (AI) to enable users to monitor and manage their power usage, reduce energy consumption, and cut electricity costs.

In operation the user can plug any household appliance into the WiFi Smart Outlet, which in turn is plugged into any power outlet in the home. Once paired with a Bluetooth 4.0 (and later)-enabled smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity provided by the Nordic SoC—or via a Wi-Fi connection—the user can immediately review their energy usage and costs by appliance, as well as create customized rules to manage their energy usage, via the iOS or Android ‘Currant app’. For example, the app can be used to switch on and off an appliance in a particular room at predetermined times. Wi-Fi connectivity enables the smart outlet to be monitored and controlled remotely via the Cloud when the user is away from home. At home, the user can use voice control to instruct Amazon Alexa or Google Home to operate a connected appliance.

The WiFi Smart Outlet uses AI to recognize patterns in energy usage and suggest changes to cut down on electricity costs. Once the device has been in operation for approximately one week it will learn the user’s schedule, the devices that are plugged in, and the associated energy usage. Using this information—and data gathered from thousands of other devices—the Currant app will recommend a schedule for everything the user has connected to minimize energy consumption and reduce costs. The user has control over whether to accept the schedule or change it, which in turn enables Currant’s proprietary algorithm to continue to learn and improve over time.

In addition to providing Bluetooth LE connectivity, the Nordic SoC functions as the device’s CPU, the nRF52832’s powerful 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex™ M4F processor provides ample computational power, Digital Signal Processing (DSP), and Floating-Point (FP) arithmetic functionality to both run the Bluetooth LE RF protocol software (‘stack’) and assist the application software’s complex AI algorithms.

Nordic was willing to provide deep technical support for a chip-down design to an emerging company like Currant making the solution more cost-effective than purchasing a module

Hasty Granbery, Currant

Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC is a powerful multiprotocol SoC ideally suited for Bluetooth LE and 2.4GHz ultra low-power wireless applications. The nRF52832 combines an 64MHz, 32-bit Arm Cortex M4F processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT™, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF software) featuring -96dB RX sensitivity, with 512kB Flash memory and 64kB RAM.

The SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S132 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5-certifed RF software protocol stack for building advanced Bluetooth LE applications. The S132 SoftDevice features Central, Peripheral, Broadcaster, and Observer Bluetooth LE roles, supports up to twenty connections, and enables concurrent role operation. Nordic’s unique software architecture provides clear separation between the RF protocol software and the developer’s application code, easing product development.

“Aside from the Nordic SoC’s small package size and attractive price, its Arm Cortex M4F processor made our decision to use the nRF52832 SoC easy,” says Hasty Granbery, CEO, Currant. “The energy monitoring chip in the smart outlet delivers data at an extremely high rate and the nRF52832 SoC’s FP unit allows much of the computation to be handled directly by the Nordic SoC, reducing the amount of raw data needing to be sent over the radio.”

“Nordic was willing to provide deep technical support for a chip-down design to an emerging company like Currant making the solution more cost-effective than purchasing a module. The separation of SoftDevice and application code, along with Nordic’s supporting documentation, Software Development Kit, and Nordic DevZone customer support portal eased development, while its early embrace of the Bluetooth mesh specification gave us a solid platform to build robust and fault-tolerant networking into our product,” adds Granbery.